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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning to add an amplifier and upgrade the stock speakers from the base six-speaker configuration. So far, Focal and JL seem to be contenders for quality replacements. I believe I'll need a pair of coaxials (non-components) for the front in four-inch size, but I can't seem to find the ones that are sure to fit. As for the back seat, I'm not sure what type of four-inch replacements would be best. And as for the subs under the seats, I'm thinking of just deleting those and adding a meatier sub in the boot. After spending 8 years of listening to a JL system, the stock speakers are really basic--not the kind of clarity, separation, and body of sound that I got used to. Who's doing audio upgrades and what are your insights and advice? Thanks, Chuck
 

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Adenoid alert

Well in my short but enjoyable experience of this site, I can honestly say there have been no posts about upgrading the factory audio with aftermarket parts.
Most have simply kept the standard unit or gone for the HK system and accepted its limitations even though it is a good way better than standard. (I have spec'd HK this time myself as I can no longer be bothered with the work required to upgrade - too old now, greying beard and knees that no longer work!)

In the past I have spent some pretty serious cash and built some amazeballs systems in previous cars.
One of the best I ever did was in an E60 BMW.
I kept the head unit, sent all the wires down to a cleansweep amp from Blaupunkt (amp specially built and tuned for the E60 head unit)
This then distributed the sounds around each speaker. I tried the system at first with just a meaty 12" sub in the boot (Focal) but found that the whole system came together better when the little 8" suss under the seats were included, so I replaced them with some Focal units as well.
I can't remember the make of the speakers, I recall the were the latest thing at the time by some Italian company.
Anyway, if you want a sound system on wheels you are certainly looking at the right way of going but I would honestly keep the underseat subs (upgrade of course) use a small but punchy DVC Sub in the boot.
How will you power them? If I recall correctly the system is actually run from the head unit with separate wires going to each speaker thus allowing the head unit to control all frequencies.
My advice would be a cleansweep amp or a cleansweep unit and then an amp.

Anyway, that's just my two penneth worth.

Captain Nerd out:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's very helpful advice. Thanks so much. JL has ruined my tolerance for stock audio, so a speaker/amp upgrade is in the cards, however dear. Danke.
 

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I also have the 6 speaker std audio system... My main complaint would be the subs under the seat. I can barely hear a bass sound. I actually thought they missed to install the subs. In the settings I have the bass all the way up and still can´t hear it...
I would love to switch the subs for better ones but I don´t know if the original amp would be enough, also i´m worried about removing the seats and then putting them back for the subs install.
 

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I have the non-HK system. I ordered an Audiocontrol DQ-61. It converts the speaker level signal to low level while also summing the signals to produce a full range sound to send to external amps. It also has 3 separate equalizers for front, rear and sub channels respectively. Variable delay is also included to enhance imaging. I think it will be a nice piece. I am looking at the Focal 100ARS speakers. They are a 4 inch mids with separate tweeter. I am going to flush mount the tweets in the windshield pillar trim panels. I am going to keep the stock 4 inchers in the rear for rear fill. A 4 channel amp will power front and rear speakers and a mono amp for a single 12" sub in the hatch. I bought a shallow mount Cerwin Vega that requires only .75 ft in a sealed enclosure. My sub box is 37.5 x 15 x 4.25 made of half inch mdf with internal bracing. JL and Kenwood and others make shallow mount subs. (My box is about .96 ft3) The rear hatch has about 4" deep well where the amps will just sit on the hatch floor. The sub box will sit above it on the side rails. Look in your car and this will make sense. My sub will fire down. I'm losing a few inches of hatch space but it's not too bad. I am leaving the stock 6 inchers under the seat for mid bass. They will be powered by an amp also. I hope to start the wiring the weekend. I think shallow mount 8's can be used under the seat in an infinite baffle setup assuming the woofer is designed for free air application. Removing the seat is simple. Just remember to unplug the wiring harness before trying to lift the seat out. Also, be careful not to scratch the dash or door panels with the metal seat rails while removing the seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, size, dimensions, and wiring diagrams for upgrading 2014 F56 MCS stock non-HK subs, mids, and tweets would be valuable. Also pictures of removal and replacement would be really appreciated. I'm somehow not finding much online . . .yet.
 

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I still believe if your music is not 24bit recorded then why bother with an upgrade.

You'll be surprised how good a standard system can sound playing 24bit music and you can buy a lot of 24bit music for the price of the HK speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Crutchfield offers a sub replacement for under the seats. Part #Ifbmwsub by Focal. You'd hear a huge difference (regardless of whether or not your source music was recorded at 24 bit. Yes, it's a compromise to play lossy sourced music on an aftermarket sound system, but it's night and day compared to a stock radio and stock speakers. Moreover, the stock F56 radio and speakers are vastly inferior to my last Min (2006). It should be the other way around, unless . . .
 

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I am new to the whole Mini world. When I ordered my F56S, the higher end sound system wasn't available. So now I am stuck with the base, which is really pretty weak. So how difficult is it to add after market components like an amp to the stock system? Does the base unit have the capability to add an amp? will it be difficult to rewire the existing speakers? It would seem straightforward to replace the existing speakers as long as you find a set that fits.
 

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Hi all, I am also quite new in the mini world but having an experience ear when it comes to music. Like others I have the base audio system in my mini F56 and it is indeed not very good :-( I am also wondering how to replace this system by a more advanced audio system, and what and where to buy? I am really not an technical expert, but I guess that replacing the current speakers should already help a lot, or not? I appreciate any good advices or suggestions on this topic. Best regards from a happy Mini driver, The Netherlands.
 

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Geez, i must really have a base system. The build sheet states "4 speakers" . I didn't order but, took one off the lot. (Hey, i needed a car now) Anyhoo, I have two door speakers and I think the other two are under the seats ? There are no settings for a rear-front fader, just for left-right. I'm thinking of replacing the door speakers and, one day I'll get around to removing the seats and investigating to see if those are really speakers under my seats. I've also read that the stereo is tied in with other things and should not be replaced with an aftermarket. Is this true ? Any help is appreciated. I'm brand new to Mini's and have no experience other than with the gas pedal. 2014 Hardtop, V.O., non S.
 

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Crutchfield offers a sub replacement for under the seats. Part #Ifbmwsub by Focal. You'd hear a huge difference (regardless of whether or not your source music was recorded at 24 bit. Yes, it's a compromise to play lossy sourced music on an aftermarket sound system, but it's night and day compared to a stock radio and stock speakers. Moreover, the stock F56 radio and speakers are vastly inferior to my last Min (2006). It should be the other way around, unless . . .
Hey Chuck - Are you speaking from experience of these replacement speaker. They are really expensive so just want to make sure your recommendation is from experience.:)
 

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I think the last thing you should worry about in the audio chain in this car is whether you're playing hi ded audio or not. I'm not going to start the debate as to whether people can hear the difference between cd 16/24 audio or 24/96, but in a car it's moot anyway, as the road noise etc will drown out any differences (even if you're a believer it's subtle differences in a home audio system).

The car seems to have 4" drivers front and rear, with a small midbass under each seat. Looks like a 6 1/2" driver but I didn't measure.

To my ears the HK system is very thin with a huge drop off in midrange, and a somewhat muddy bass. Decent 4" speakers may make a difference for the mids. I don't place much stock in HK when it comes to speakers. I am afan of Focal speakers in home so I wouldn't be surprised if they are a marked improvement.


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CrimGuy - Problem I that the Focals won't work cause they are 4 ohms. The HK system speakers are all 2 ohm. Focal do not recommend you use them with the HK amp...sorry.
 

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We need to be careful here as there are 3 different specs . I think I a m right that
1 basic system. 4 speakers not great.
2 visual boost. 6 speakers. Two front two sub two rear. Much better and I thought totally acceptable.
3 harmon pardon 4 rear two subs 4 front one centre though this makes 11 and I thought there were 12 plus 400 watt amp. Fabulous sound .and tailored to the car. Feed it a decent track and it is deep clear and can vibrate your bum through the seats and the whole street can hear it. I have it and loive it.

It is important to go in and fiddle with bass, treble and fader setting to get the sound you want.
Harmon kardon are a world widerenown high quality hiFi maker and I have always loved their stuff and that of subsidiary jbl. I am . Sure you can get better but it will cost you lots!.
 
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It appears that the head unit also is programmed differently depend on the system. In the HK system the HU does not send an audio signal to the amp it sends data.
 

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To add to what I put above, 4 speakers std, 2 door two under seat, 6 in the visual boost with 2 front 2 rear 2 underseat and then the hk system.
My HK system is amazing-on top of really lovely clear basssy sound I can also say sincerely the stereo imaging is far far superior to anything I have heard in a car-with that centre dash speaker the voice is in the middle and the sound surrounds- I really am as happy listening to this as to my very nice mission tower speakers and Yamaha amp with cd/ lp source in the house and I am VERY fussy-clarity and image are v important-as a bonus the set up means I haven't had to alter balance or fader settings-first time ever in a car-balance is especially perfect! Give it a good source and I think for £600 extra the hk system is a winner-total bass heads may not be satisified but for the average music lover you wont beat it!
 

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I had the 6 speaker standard setup in Fevio and it was superior to the 6 speaker standard setup in my previous F20 1 Series... I haven't tried the HK so I have yet to be wow-ed but I'd rather spend the £600 on a bottle of Bollinger and £550 worth of chocolate truffles ;)
 
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